Two candidates vying to represent eastern Iowa in Congress have missed deadlines for filing financial disclosure statements.
Swati Dandekar, a Marion Democrat running for the District 1 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, should have filed the financial disclosure statement in July, but her husband forgot.
“I completely forgot about it,” Arvind Dandekar said. “I plan to get it done this weekend.”
In Iowa’s 2nd District, Republican challenger Mark Lofgren, a state representative from Muscatine, didn’t know he’d missed the deadline until The Gazette asked about it this week. “I’m glad you called,” he said.
The other candidates running in the 1st and 2nd districts have either filed the financial disclosure statements or are not yet required to do so.
Candidates’ financial interests
Financial disclosure statements show candidates’ income, assets, major debts, work agreements and customer compensation. They aren’t intended to judge a candidate’s net worth, but to inform the public about candidates’ financial interests and to avoid potential conflicts of interest, according to the House Ethics Committee.
The forms also let voters know how much candidates are like them financially.
Of the four Democrats running for the 1st District who have filed their reports, three drew public salaries in 2012. Click on each candidate’s name to see his or her report.
Anesa Kajtazovic, 27, of Waterloo, was paid $25,000 as a state representative in 2012; Monica Vernon, 56, was paid $16,869 last year for being on the Cedar Rapids City Council; and state Rep. Pat Murphy, 54, of Dubuque, earned $25,540, according to the disclosures.
Vernon was paid another $20,838 in 2012 from her Vernon Research Group and Kajtazovic made an extra $2,460 working for the GMAC Mortgage.
Dave O’Brien was paid $156,000 last year as one of two lawyers at the Willey, O’Brien firm in Cedar Rapids.
It’s hard to tell the exact value of assets listed on the financial disclosure statements because the forms include financial ranges instead of exact amounts.
Of Democrats, Vernon has the largest number of listed assets, including stock with Alliant Energy, Penford Corp., Aegon, and NII Holdings. Vernon also lists several retirement funds and insurance policies.
O’Brien’s assets lean more toward real estate. His disclosure form lists his law firm, an office building and two rental properties, in addition to his 401K and life insurance. Under “liabilities,” O’Brien lists mortgages on several properties.
Murphy’s financial assets include bank accounts, retirement funds and life insurance. He also has a home mortgage. Kajtazovic lists two bank accounts and two retirement funds as her assets. Her report doesn’t include a page on liabilities.
Candidates are required to list compensation of more than $5,000 they’ve received from customers. Rockwell Collins paid Vernon for market research services, she reported. O’Brien listed “numerous clients,” but declined to name them because of professional conduct rules for lawyers.
1st District Republicans
Of the four Republicans running for 1st District, Steve Rathje, 57, of Cedar Rapids, reports a $160,000 salary for 2012 as president of International Procurement Services. Rod Blum, 58, of Dubuque, says he was paid $13,850 as a director of the American Trust & Savings Bank last year.
Rathje’s disclosure form doesn’t include the page on assets and income sources. He does list as a liability his $500,000 to $1 million home mortgage.
Blum has stock in companies including Bank of Montreal, Berkshire Hathaway, Cardinal Health, General Electric, Office Depot, Wells Fargo, SunTrust and Heartland Financial. He is also partner in several firms and receives farm income, according to the disclosure form.
Rep. Walt Rogers, of Cedar Falls, entered the race last month and hasn’t yet filed fundraising documents to indicate whether he’s raised $5,000, the threshold for filing financial disclosure documents.
Loebsack’s disclosure different
Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack, who has led Iowa’s 2nd District since 2007, has a different financial disclosure report than candidates trying to replace him. His most recent Periodic Transaction Report says he sold a CREF Inflation Linked Bond valued between $15,001 and $50,000 and purchased TIAA real estate valued in the same price range.
Once candidates for the U.S. House raise or spend $5,000 they must file a financial disclosure statement within 30 days or by May 15 of that year, whichever is later.
Candidates who want an extension on financial disclosure must request it before the 30-day deadline. Late filers are fined $200 and the Attorney General can pursue a $50,000 fine for anyone who knowingly and willfully fails to file a statement.
The Ethics Committee reviews all financial disclosure statements to determine if they are timely, appear to be accurate and complete and comply with rules and laws. If the reviewer finds a deficiency, he or she will alert the filer who then has a chance to amend the statement or argue why the change is not needed.
1st Congressional District Candidates’ 2012 earned income (self reported)
Rod Blum: American Trust & Savings Bank director’s fee: $13,850
Anesa Kajtazovic: State of Iowa $25,000; GMAC Mortgage $2,460
Pat Murphy: State of Iowa $25,540
Dave O’Brien: Willey, O’Brien law firm $156,000
Dave Rathje: International Procurement Services $160,000
Monica Vernon: City of Cedar Rapids $16,869; Vernon Research Group $20,838
*Candidates Swati Dandekar and Mark Lofgren (2nd District) have not yet filed. Candidates are required to file after raising or spending $5,000.